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Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome

Also known as Korsakoff Psychosis

An acquired cognitive disorder characterized by inattentiveness and the inability to form short term memories. This disorder is frequently associated with chronic ALCOHOLISM; but it may also result from dietary deficiencies; CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA; NEOPLASMS; CEREBROVASCULAR DISORDERS; ENCEPHALITIS; EPILEPSY; and other conditions. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1139)

Source: MeSH

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with wernicke korsakoff syndrome, 74% report having depressive or psychotic symptoms, 49% report having delusions or hallucinations, and 49% report having abusing alcohol. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of wernicke korsakoff syndrome are depressive or psychotic symptoms, abusing alcohol, delusions or hallucinations, hostile behavior, vomiting blood, and disturbance of memory, although you may still have wernicke korsakoff syndrome without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with wernicke korsakoff syndrome often receive complete blood count, hematologic tests, urinalysis, electrolytes panel, kidney function tests, intravenous fluid replacement, glucose measurement and blood alcohol .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with wernicke korsakoff syndrome include thiamine, clonazepam, folic acid, quetiapine (seroquel), bupropion (wellbutrin), venlafaxine (effexor), trazodone, abciximab (reopro), acamprosate (campral), primidone, chlordiazepoxide, sodium bicarbonate and varenicline (chantix) .

Thiamine
$3
(28 days)
Clonazepam
$9
(28 days)
Folic Acid
$3
(28 days)
Quetiapine (Seroquel)
$290
(28 days)
Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
$51
(28 days)
Venlafaxine (Effexor)
$128
(28 days)
Trazodone
$7
(28 days)
Abciximab (Reopro)

Acamprosate (Campral)
$126
(28 days)
Primidone
$29
(28 days)
Chlordiazepoxide
$8
(28 days)
Sodium Bicarbonate
$18
(21 days)
Varenicline (Chantix)
$123
(28 days)

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for wernicke korsakoff syndrome include age 30-44 years, race/ethnicity = hispanic, sex == male, age 60-74 years and age 45-59 years. On the other hand, age 75+ years, age 5-14 years, and age 1-4 years almost never get wernicke korsakoff syndrome.

Age

< 1 years
0.1x
1-4 years
0.0x
5-14 years
0.0x
15-29 years
0.2x
30-44 years
1.7x
45-59 years
1.9x
60-74 years
1.8x
75+ years
0.0x

Sex

Male
1.5x
Female
0.6x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.5x
Hispanic
1.8x
White
1.0x
Other
0.9x
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